This Monday, Microsoft and Sony both took on the stage the E3 to share more about the next generation consoles they had announced previously. Each of them had a set of new games to show off, more to share about their respective online networks, along with the revealing of the Playstation 4 physical console (Hint: it doesn’t look that different from the Xbox One).
Firstly, it was annoying that Microsoft’s presentation had to be at the same time as WWDC, as I ended up watching the WWDC conference live stream and catching up with this later. In any case, here are some of the highlights of the conference, and my personal take on them:
1. Lots of exclusive titles coming to the Xbox One.
We saw a great array of games from both systems, but the Xbox One did seem to have the larger collection of exclusive game previews on stage.
2. Both Xbox Live and Playstation Plus memberships roll over.
If you own an Xbox 360 like me, or a PS3, and are part of either of their online services, you will not have to worry about the transition to the next-fen consoles, and they will remain intact and valid on the new systems as well.
3. Xbox Live starts rolling out monthly free games for Xbox Live Gold Members.
If you’re a Playstation Plus subscriber this may be old news, but Microsoft has announced that starting this month with Fable 3, there are going to be a few games released on a monthly basis for free to play for Xbox Live Gold members. This is not just for the current generation, where you will see old, dated games become free, but also will be the case on the Xbox One as well.
4. The Playstation 4 will require a Playstation Plus membership for online play.
Sony is coming up to par with Microsoft in having gamers pay for the ability to game online. I personally don’t mind this, and if anything, I think paying for your service will help the service grow to become a lot better.
I am an enthusiast of online gaming, and having tried it on both consoles, Xbox Live has been superior to PSN so far. The hope is that by Sony being paid to support it’s online infrastructure it will invest seriously in growing the online network and make it an attractive alternative to Xbox Live.
5. Sony has no new DRM plans for Playstation 4.
Sony has made this clear, to tremendous applause: there will be no restrictions on used games and no online connection requirement of any sort to play games. This comes as a sharp jab against Microsoft, who in the past few days has been quite unpopular with gamers for their new and complicated DRM plans for the Xbox One.
Personally, this is a big reason for me to consider getting the PS4 instead on the Xbox One, so I don’t have to deal with these rules. Hopefully, the uproar against these rules will pressure Microsoft to abandon these plans, because if they do, I will seriously consider the Xbox One for myself again.
6. The prices are announced: $499 for the Xbox One, $399 for the PS4.
Compound this fact with the previous controversial point about Microsoft, and purchasing an Xbox One could be a lot more expensive investment, both up front and when you look to purchase games.
So those are some of the main points I believe are most vital to take away from the latest events and news. With both these consoles coming out later this year, this is an exciting time to be a gamer. It’ll be interesting how the console wars play out in the months leading to their release, and then when it’s finally out. You can be assured we will try and stay on top of it, as much as possible!
Sony E3 Press Conference:
Microsoft’s E3 Conference:
For those of you who have the time and want to watch the whole presentation of either company, we have posted the videos to the E3 presentations for both Microsoft and Sony! We’d love to hear your thoughts on the latest turn of events, so let me know in the comments down below what you’re thinking!